I find myself sitting in my office this evening, torn between wanting to express what I'm feeling and wanting to escape into the book I'm reading. This room has been so many things in the ten years since you were here, yet I can still see the hospital bed in front of the window and the dresser with the television on top of it in the corner. It would seem as though nothing has changed and yet everything has changed.
This morning I awoke in complete despair as if it were going to happen all over again. My feelings so raw that it could be a premonition of what is coming even though it has been ten years since it became my reality. I keep waiting for the rain to come and the lightening show outside the window. By this time ten years ago...has it really been ten years? It feels so fresh to me today. By this time ten years ago everyone had gone home from the pool. The nurse had been called hours ago and come and gone. In just a bit will be the time when I told uncle Paul to go home and get some sleep because we didn't know how long it would be. The children would have been long down in their slumber at their other grandma's house. And here I sit.
I sit on the same side of the room that I would have been at your bedside. Sharon would be at the other side of the bed. About 12:30 a.m. I would have sent my husband upstairs to sleep not knowing it would only be another hour or so. I talked to you that night. I told you how much I loved you and told you it was OK if you wanted to go be with Jesus. In between talking I watch the lightening show and while I am normally afraid of storms, for some reason I felt no fear of the storm that night. I only whispered my love for you and how much I would miss you.
It was after one in the morning and I knew instinctively almost, that the time was drawing near. It was as if time slowed down and sped up all at the same time. You were here and yet you were leaving, as though I had been watching you pack for hours and you were trying to say goodbye but weren't sure about it. I think I felt Him come to the foot of the bed before I felt you leave. I was holding your hand and told Sharon to do the same, it was time. I still find it a miracle that I knew that. It is an odd sensation to feel the spirit leave the body. One minute there is life and the next minute it is gone, off to a distant place I can not yet visit.
I wonder...did you know that day that you would be leaving this night? Did you know that Jesus would come himself to take you home? What was it like to awaken and look up onto His face? Did you cry or did you smile knowing you were finally going home? Did you take one last look at your family or did you in awe and wonder just follow Him home?
I can't remember the last time I heard your voice. It makes me sad that I can no longer hear your voice. I have no one to call when I'm cooking dinner.
I think I even miss you getting mad at me. You used to get mad at me. I hate that you got mad at me but I liked it too. It's how I knew you cared. You don't bother getting mad at people you don't care about.
I'm sorry. It's been ten years and I'm sorry if I didn't do enough. I'm sorry if I didn't make you proud or if I didn't do enough for you. I tried. It's so lonely this feeling. I'm an only child and I'm alone without my mother and yet I'm not really alone. I'm surrounded by family and friends. Perhaps just alone in the misery I sink myself into every year for three days.
Tomorrow is the official date of death. July 14th. It's the French Independence Day, one of the only things I remember from French class in high school and also just one day before my birthday. I haven't decided if you were trying to hold out or if you were trying to go before so as not to ruin it. Not that you had much choice in the matter, no one ever does really. I do remember the struggle on your face though before you left. You were always so stubborn. A trait I might have inherited a bit of.
I hate my birthday. Everything about it reminds me of this, of you. You always made birthdays such a big deal. Now they are, but for all the wrong reasons. I'm a willful child mad and upset because nothing can be the way it was because you aren't here. You didn't miss anything and the parent I'm left with misses everything. Barely acknowledging us four times a year. I know, what did I expect? I guess I had hoped he would come up to bat. He just stays in the dugout and never even makes it to the batter's box. That makes me sad too. He's missing everything and even though you are in heaven I feel as though you still never miss a thing.
Today in church we talked about what Jesus as been doing in our life. I went back ten years to this night. The night Jesus came and stood in this very room I sit in now. I have a feeling He is here tonight as well. Perhaps sitting in the other chair as I write this, reminding me of how far we've come. I've struggled more this year than last. Yet I know He will find me and help me find my way back. That's the difference between now and then. I couldn't find my way through all the darkness. Now it's as if when my heart feels heavy and dark His light starts piercing through all the dark until the light just bursts through and the darkness is gone. I know I'm not alone. I know my father holds me in his arms and comforts me and heals me. I know the pain I feel every year is the reminder of His love and His grace and without the pain I wouldn't have truly known what I was missing. I accept it, it still hurts and threatens to break me, yet it refines me. I know this is what I must do to get where I want to be...with my father, always with Him. I know now I can't do anything on my own. Nothing works without Him. I need Him. I long for Him. My heart breaks and sometimes I still feel like running away and yet I turn around and I run back to Him because the alternative would shatter me.
I'm so happy you get to be with Jesus. He loves you so much. I know he does because he loves me too. I wonder...did you know?